Document Type

Dissertation - Open Access

Award Date


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Sociology and Rural Studies

First Advisor

Julie Yingling


Criminological Impact Assessment, Marijuana Impact Assessment, Marijuana Legalization, Media Analysis, Rural Marijuana Law Reform, Social Impact Assessment


As marijuana legalization expands in the United States, communities that are shifting rapidly from prohibition to legalization are impacted greatly. As South Dakota remains one of the only states in the nation that has not engaged the marijuana reform movement in any manner, it is vital to assess potential impacts marijuana legalization might have on the state. Although there are several marijuana impact reports that analyze potential health and economic impacts of legalization, few address political and criminological implications that impacted areas undergo as a result of this policy change. Subsequently, there is a need to analyze the impacts of marijuana legalization on regionally bound contexts to fully predict the extent to which the impacts will be felt. Additionally, there is a need to develop mitigation strategies, in advance of policy interventions, to identify and mitigate potential negative impacts of change. Given the nature of the contextual significance of marijuana impacts, South Dakota’s most populous city, Sioux Falls, stands to be the epicenter of marijuana legalization impacts in the state. Through conducting a media analysis of Sioux Falls print news, an analysis of existing marijuana impact reports, and twenty in-depth interviews with professionals engaged in the marijuana reform movement, conclusions about the potential impacts on Greater Sioux Falls were identified and analyzed.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Marijuana -- Law and legislation -- South Dakota -- Sioux Falls.
Drug legalization.


Includes bibliographical references



Number of Pages



South Dakota State University


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